May 16, 2018

PILLAR OF THE COMMUNITY: James Floyd’s influence on Princeton, especially the Witherspoon-Jackson district, touched many over several decades.

By Anne Levin

James Floyd, Princeton’s first African American mayor and longtime civil servant, died Monday morning. A community activist who worked tirelessly to promote civil rights, he was a mentor to many and a familiar figure to anyone involved in local politics. He was instrumental in getting the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood designated a historic district.

“Jim Floyd was a change agent,” said Princeton Councilman Lance Liverman, who grew up in Princeton and knew Floyd nearly his whole life. “This is my definition of someone who truly has changed the direction or path others may have gone. Jim was a mover and shaker in the area of affordable housing in Princeton. This was his passion.” more

April 11, 2018

By Anne Levin

The New Jersey Attorney General’s office released footage Monday related to the March 20 shooting incident at the Panera Bread restaurant on Nassau Street. The surveillance video shows state troopers firing the shots that killed Scott L. Mielentz, the 56-year-old Lawrenceville man who entered the eatery that morning, wielding a BB pistol. more

March 28, 2018

By Donald Gilpin

Optimistic organizers anticipated hundreds, but thousands of people showed up in Hinds Plaza Saturday to join Princeton’s March for Our Lives rally, one of more than 800 across the country in support of the national march in Washington, D.C., demanding that lawmakers take action against gun violence.

Estimated at more than 4,000, the crowd overflowed the Plaza. Witherspoon and Hulfish streets were closed to traffic.  more

By Anne Levin

With the New Jersey Attorney General’s office in charge of investigating the shooting at the Panera Bread restaurant on Nassau Street last week, Princeton Police Chief Nick Sutter is limited in how much he can share about the incident until the investigation is completed. But Sutter wants to keep the public as informed as he can about the events surrounding the death of 56-year-old Scott Mielentz, who was fatally shot after an armed standoff involving local, county, and state police; the FBI; and Princeton University police. more

March 21, 2018

By Donald Gilpin and Anne Levin

A four and a half-hour standoff between police and an armed gunman at Panera Bread on Nassau Street ended shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday when the man was fatally shot by police.

The man entered Panera Bread on Nassau Street with a handgun around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and made threats as customers and employees fled. Police secured the perimeter of the restaurant.  more

February 22, 2018

By Anne Levin

Rider University’s Board of Trustees has revealed the identity of the company with which they have been negotiating to buy Westminster Choir College, Westminster Conservatory of Music, and Westminster Continuing Education, for $40 million.

The board has signed a non-binding term sheet with Beijing Kaiwen Education Technology Co., Ltd, a Chinese firm that owns the Kaiwen Academies, two K-12 international schools in Beijing, for the transfer of ownership of the three entities. “This major step forward will ensure that the choir college and its entities remain open in Princeton, NJ,” reads a press release from Rider president Gregory Dell’Omo. more

February 21, 2018

By Anne Levin

Since the tragic murder of 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last week, area public and private schools have had to reconsider how to best provide a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff.

Based on security audits last month, several changes had already been put in place throughout the Princeton Public Schools (PPS). But the Parkland shootings, and a recent incident in which a former student entered and later left the Princeton High School building, prompted more changes be made.  more

January 17, 2018

By Donald Gilpin

Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber and Microsoft President Bradford L. Smith have teamed up to send letters to top leaders and other members of Congress urging them to act quickly to provide long-term protection, including a path to citizenship, for DREAMers.

“The time has come for immediate and urgent action by Congress,” wrote Eisgruber and Smith, as the future of DREAMers hangs in the balance against a backdrop of ongoing negotiations on Capitol Hill and President Trump’s Sunday tweet that “DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it.”  more

January 10, 2018

By Anne Levin

Since the December 27 fire at the Griggs Farm complex that took one life and displaced 35 residents, the local community has rallied to donate funds, food, clothing, and household items. An anonymous couple offered to make a matching gift of $36,000.

Now, the call is out for housing options. more

December 28, 2017

A two-alarm fire that started Wednesday night, December 27, in a three-story apartment building at the Griggs Farm complex on Billie Ellis Lane, took the life of a 73-year-old woman and displaced 35 residents. Larisa Bartone, who lived in an apartment at 21 Billie Ellis Lane, died in the fire. An investigation into the cause of the blaze is ongoing.

The Princeton Police Department, Princeton Fire Department, Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, and multiple fire departments from the area responded to the scene. The American Red Cross and Princeton’s Human Services department are assisting the residents, some of whom spent Wednesday night at The Nassau Inn. more

November 8, 2017

By Donald Gilpin

Voters elected Beth Behrend with 3,199 votes, Jess Deutsch with 2,983 votes, and Michele Tuck-Ponder with 2,773 votes on Tuesday to fill available seats for three-year terms on the Princeton Board of Education, according to unofficial results at press time.

Joining the Princeton Municipal Council in January for three-year terms will be Democrats David Cohen and Leticia Fraga, winning 5,604 and 5,570 votes respectively in their unopposed campaigns. Current Council members Bernie Miller and Jo Butler will be stepping down on January 1. more

October 4, 2017

By Anne Levin

In two separate incidents that occurred two days apart, two people were struck and killed by Amtrak trains near the Princeton Junction station.

The first, on Thursday afternoon, September 28, involved a Princeton High School sophomore and is believed to have been a suicide. The Crescent train 20 was on its way from New Orleans to New York when it struck the student at about 2:45 p.m., according to an Amtrak spokesman. The second incident took place Saturday evening, September 30, when Amtrak train 92 hit an individual at about 8:30 p.m. more

September 20, 2017

By Donald Gilpin

About 200 professors, colleagues, friends, their families, and other supporters gathered in Princeton University’s East Pyne Courtyard Friday evening to hold a candlelight vigil in support of Xiyue Wang, a graduate student who has been imprisoned in Iran for the past 13 months.

Speakers, who included Wang’s wife, two of his professors, and several of his colleagues and friends, focused mostly on Wang’s qualities as a person, a scholar, a husband, and father to a 4-year-old son. Those closest to Wang, 37, described him as a talented, ambitious, dedicated scholar, full of intellectual curiosity and interest in Iranian culture, a steadfast friend and a loving family man with a distinct flair for cooking.  more

September 13, 2017

By Donald Gilpin

Widespread criticism, along with a barrage of political, legal, and proposed legislative action, has arisen in response to last week’s Trump administration announcement of the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, that protected some 800,000 young undocumented immigrants, also known as DREAMers, from deportation. more

By Anne Levin

With President Trump’s recent announcement ordering the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Princeton’s second annual Welcoming Week could hardly be celebrated at a more appropriate time. Starting this Friday, the town’s Human Services Department is collaborating with Princeton Public Library, the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, The Historical Society of Princeton, and other community partners on this series of events designed to promote contributions made by those who come from other places. more

September 6, 2017

By Donald Gilpin

The Princeton immigrant community, in town and on campus, met with dismay U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s announcement yesterday that President Trump plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that shields young undocumented immigrants from deportation. The announcement called for Congress to replace the policy before it fully expires in March 2018. more

August 30, 2017

During the service this past Sunday at Nassau Presbyterian Church, Pastor David A. Davis urged worshippers to contribute funds for victims of the disastrous, record-breaking flooding in Texas. At the Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks, an e-blast asking for contributions this week got an immediate response. At SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals in Skillman, discussions were ongoing Tuesday about how best to assist the rescue of dogs, cats, and other animals left to fend for themselves in the ongoing storm. more

August 2, 2017

Six candidates have filed to run for three available seats on the Princeton Public School Board in the November election, according to Mercer County Election Supervisor Bonnie Epps at Monday’s filing deadline.

Beth Behrend, Jenny Ludmer, Julie Ramirez, Jessica Deutsch, Michele Tuck-Ponder, and James K. Fields will be vying for the three-year, unpaid positions. There are 10 regular Board members, plus two student representatives. more

July 21, 2017

XIYUE WANG AND FAMILY: Shown here with his wife Hua Qu and their son, Xiyue Wang, a Princeton University graduate student in the history department, was arrested in Iran last summer while doing research for his doctoral dissertation and has been sentenced by Iranian authorities to 10 years in prison for espionage. (Family Photo Via Princeton University)

An Iranian court announced Sunday that it has sentenced Xiyue Wang, a Princeton University graduate student in the history department, to 10 years in prison for spying. A Chinese-born U.S. citizen, Mr. Wang, 37, was arrested last summer in Iran while conducting research on the administrative and cultural history of the late Qajar dynasty for his PhD dissertation. more

June 14, 2017

Tracy K. Smith, the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Princeton University Professor in the Humanities and a professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts, has been named the 22nd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2017-18.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the appointment today. Ms. Smith will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library of Congress’s annual literary season with a reading of her work at the Coolidge Auditorium. more

April 26, 2017

Saturday’s marchers for science, some 2,400 strong, gathered at the Battlefield Monument, led in spirit by Princeton’s most renowned scientist. Participants talk about what brought them there in this week’s Town Talk. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

March 29, 2017

In the Town Topics story titled “Rider Seeks Buyer to Keep Westminster in Princeton” that ran in this week’s issue (March 29), it was indicated that Westminster Choir College would remain in Princeton. This has not yet been determined, as Rider is seeking interest from institutions that may choose to move the choir college to a different location. The Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey is still seeking support to make certain the college remains at its present location.

February 22, 2017

Members of the Hun School boys’ hockey team celebrate with their student cheering section after Hun edged Princeton High 4-3 in the Mercer County Tournament championship game last Friday evening at the Mercer County Park rink. It marked the fourth straight county crown for the Raiders. See page 34 for more details on Hun’s win. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Princeton Animal Control Officer Saul Nathan Barson was arrested on February 20 by the Solebury (Pennsylvania) Police Department on charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors, and criminal use of a communication facility.

Mr. Barson has been suspended from his job without pay pending further investigation, according to Princeton Municipal Administrator Marc Dashield. more

February 15, 2017

An overflow crowd attending a gubernatorial candidate forum at the Suzanne Patterson Center, held by the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) Sunday evening, February 12, officially endorsed Assemblyman John Wisniewski for New Jersey governor in the next election.

After a first round of voting by PCDO members, Mr. Wisniewski and fellow candidate Phil Murphy, a financier and former U.S. ambassador, competed in a run-off. Mr. Wisniewski won with just over 60 percent of the vote, which is the amount required for the PCDO’s endorsement. Also appearing at the forum were State Senator Raymond Lesniak and former Treasury official and federal prosecutor Jim Johnson. more